Where is the Unity Among Women in Politics?


30 year-old, Angela Peoples, photographed at the Women’s March earlier this year.

There are a ton of people who are still talking about the 2016 election. Among the many topics that rise from these conversations is how white women voted for Trump in 2016.

In the snapshot above, detailing the breakdown of 2016’s voter turnout as compiled by CNN, you can see that only 43% of white women voted for Hillary, compared to the 94% she received from of black women.

However, why are people so surprised?

One thing is for sure, black women are not surprised. In fact, time and time again, there has been a clear lack of support or even outrage from white women allies whenever black women are disrespected.

Take for example, the calling of Rep. Frederica Wilson (FL-24) a sleazy whore and the lack of outcry from any of these women’s organization that would usually have a mouthful to say in the defense of a white woman. Even in the offices of political non-profits, a place where creativity and innovation is “always welcome”, there is a chance that black women will have to stand alone. When it comes to obtaining a specific position, there have been white women who would try to assassinate a black woman’s character and act as poorly as men instead of saying, “I’m just glad a woman got the role”. Now let’s be real sistas, we do this too!

Some black women would say that white women put being white before being a woman and that this ideology shows up in the way they vote and the way they speak out about injustices. But beyond voter turnout and public outcry, black women who work in this space often times find themselves not feeling supported by their white, female, colleagues.

So what can we do?

First and foremost, we should not give up on our white sisters because ONE DAY they are going to show up for us and all men will be very afraid.

Secondly, we need to prioritize supporting each other. Now what does that mean? Whenever you foresee another sister getting herself into a compromising situation, you pull her to the side and help her work through it. You remove from you mind this idea that there can only be one black woman or HWIC (head woman in charge) because supporting her shine does not dim your own.

And finally, let the ladder down! That means calling back that young African American woman that has reached out, asking you to be her mentor a million times, and agreeing to groom her. This could also mean, identifying a young woman you would like to pour into because once you leave this earth your dash will tell your story. Make it memorable!

Resources used:

https://www.essence.com/news/politics/most-black-women-voted-for-hillary-clinton

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/06/01/black-women-and-the-dnc/?utm_term=.7a1f7fdb6a4f

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/from-metoo-to-who-me-where-are-white-women-allies_us_59f1fbb6e4b06acda25f480e

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“Sometimes You Have to Eat Cheese”

Have you ever heard the expression, “humble pie is the diet of champions”? What about, “sometimes you have to eat cheese”? If you haven’t yet, you probably will at some point in your career.

Millennials, typically characterized as individuals between the ages of 18 and 34, are drastically different from other generations. Generally speaking, millennials are detached from most major institutions, such as religions, political parties, and even marriage. Even more noticeable is how millennials are defying the structures of conventional work environments.

It is no secret that things were different “back in the day” and anytime you meet a more senior staff member, they can’t wait to tell you or question your desire for more substantive work. “Why do you care so much about new opportunities or more professional development work? Honestly, I was doing spreadsheets until I became a director!” And, while this is all fine and well, a millennial would likely think to himself, well why did I need to come into the office? I could do a spreadsheet from home.

Technically, that millennial would be right – he could do that spreadsheet at home. However, if that was expressed to that senior staffer, he or she probably wouldn’t understand. See, technology wasn’t the way it is now so there wasn’t much room for “telework”, which has, in some fields, become the new norm. These folks had to go into their respective offices every day and do whatever their superiors needed them to do to accomplish whatever goal was set. The had to “wait their turn” which usually meant they got new opportunities when their superior left the company. So, to them, this “I could’ve done this at home” attitude doesn’t work.

Now, there is nothing wrong with wanting better for yourself! If you want that job, or those new responsibilities, go after them! Earn them! But, be mindful of your work dynamic, because when it’s time for your superiors to select someone internally for a new project or a new position, you don’t want to be overlooked because your attitude gave them a “lazy vibe” or because you always acted entitled. The reality is, sometimes you must do what you have to do, so that you can do what you want to do in the future.

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